ITV presents dual-screen coverage

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is presenting and packaging all live and recorded coverage of the 2010 World Cup on-site in South Africa.

ITV is making use of a presentation studio overlooking Soccer City at the international broadcast center and facilities in the center including EVS machines and four Avid-based edit suites supplied by Prestigne. International satellite and fiber connectivity is provided by GlobeCast. ITV will share facilities provided by SIS Live with the BBC to cover the England team hotel and training ground.

An additional small OB unit, managed by Gearhouse Broadcast, will travel to each England match and provide a pitch-side presence and flash interviews.

Although ITV has shipped most of its facilities into the country, it did manage to secure two local SNG trucks and crew. “We wanted experienced operators who knew how to get around the country,” said Roger Pearce, ITV Sport technical director.

Scarcity of facilities has been a problem, Pearce admitted, particularly in sourcing sufficient fiber and satellite space. “The country tried hard to provide facilities, but it’s obviously a big challenge. Fiber and satellite is expensive because they are at a premium,” he said.

Although ITV’s main output is HD footage from the roving teams, ENG crews will be in SD on Digital Beta “to keep latency down,” Pearce said.

The broadcaster is also providing interactive coverage of the finals. A dedicated team is creating a variety of additional video clips, graphics and data streamed to and a red-button service for ITV1 viewers on the Sky platform.

According to Pearce, “More and more people want a richer experience of key events like live sports by watching on TV but interacting and finding more information from their laptop while the game is in progress.”

Features include the ability for viewers to choose between multiple feeds, such as a player cam, supplied by HBS, match analysis and live statistical updates. The red-button service features other games and rolling news.

Adrian Pennington

Adrian Pennington is a journalist specialising in film and TV production. His work has appeared in The Guardian, RTS Television, Variety, British Cinematographer, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter. Adrian has edited several publications, co-written a book on stereoscopic 3D and is copywriter of marketing materials for the industry. Follow him @pennington1